Who is responsible for the damages to my car? 24 Answers as of September 07, 2012

My car was parked at a meter on the side of the road when a power line broke and dropped on top of my car and another car in front of mine. It caused both cars to catch fire and melt away. The remainder of the car was towed to the police impound. Who is responsible for the damage? What is my rights?

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Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
Clearly the power company is responsible. Contact their risk management department and make a claim. Alternatively, your own insurance company should pay for the car and seek reimbursement on your behalf from the power company.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/8/2011
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
The utility company that owns and operates the power line would be the responsible party.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/6/2011
D T Pham Associates, PLLC
D T Pham Associates, PLLC | Duncan T Pham
The owner of the power line is responsible for the damage if it can be shown that the line broke due to the owner's negligence in designing, installing, and/or maintaining it. Otherwise it would be classified as an "act of God" - You may have to file a claim for property damage if you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/6/2011
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Without more info it is hard to say for sure but you should look to the power company obviously. If they failed to properly maintain their lines they would be liable.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 9/6/2011
Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
The power company would be responsible but you should let your insurance company handle same.
Answer Applies to: Delaware
Replied: 9/6/2011
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
    It depends on who owns the power line and/or is responsible for its maintenance. Also depends on what caused the power line to break. I suggest you immediately speak with an attorney who can evaluate your case and be able to advise you accordingly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Possibly the utility company is responsible for the care and maintenance of this power line.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 9/5/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    It depends on why the wire broke. Whoever caused it to fall might be responsible or the utility might be held liable for not properly securing it in the first place or for failing to adequately maintain it after that.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/5/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    The power company can be held responsible if and only if you can show that the power company either knew that the cable was worn or they failed to inspect the cable regularly in violation of their own mandates.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/5/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    Suing somebody successfully requires showing four elements: 1. your defendant had a duty 2. your defendant breached his duty 3. the breach of duty was the proximate cause of your damages 4. the extent of the damages. In your statement, there is apparently an issue regarding whether there was any negligence on the part of the owners of the power line. You should probably speak with an attorney about it. Perhaps you would need an expert witness to investigate whether the power line company was negligent. Not every unfortunate event is the result of somebody's wrongdoing. Sometimes things happen that are nobody's fault so there is nobody to sue. It might be necessary to start a lawsuit to use the civil discovery process to investigate whether there was any negligence in the construction or maintenance of the power lines.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/5/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Contact your insurance company and they will pursue the parties at fault.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 9/3/2011
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C.
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C. | Dan Woska
    Contact and hire a contingency fee attorney familiar and experienced with actions against municipalities, counties and state government. You must also get a notice to the appropriate parties in a matter of months from the date of the accident. Finally get the insurance policy for your vehicle and get a copy to your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 9/3/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Check with your City's Mayor's Office or legal department and/or consult with an accident attorney for legal representation.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 9/3/2011
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    Start with the power company. If it was caused by an act of nature they may be able to avoid liability.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/3/2011
    D'Andrea Law | Kathy D'Andrea
    You may be entitled to the damage to your car. First make an inquiry as to what entity provides maintenance to the power lines, usually it is the phone company or electric company. Once you figure that out you would want to talk to them and see if they have a claim process and see whether they know why the power line fell. If possible you'll want to try to go through their claim process and get reimbursement for your car informally. If you cannot solve the issue in this manner you'll want to contact an attorney who will then sue for reimbursement. One catch though, if it happens to be the city that provides maintenance and they are responsible for the line to fall you will have to go though the city's claim process before you can file suit because of the possibility of sovereign immunity. In the end though try to resolve the matter informally if possible and then contact an attorney if you cannot.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/3/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    I'm sorry for what occurred, but I really can't answer your question without knowing what caused the power line to fail. It could have been the fault of the power company, the city, or weather. You should contact a lawyer in your area to investigate what occurred. If the power line fell due to someone's negligence, you may have a claim. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Likely your comprehensive insurance coverage on the car itself. Assuming the power company did nothing wrong.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/2/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    If it was an act of God, such as a storm, no one is liable. Your auto insurance might pay for the damages, depending on what type coverage you have. If the wire fell because it was improperly maintained, the governmental agency responsible for maintaining it is liable and you can file a claim.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 9/2/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    I'd say it's the owner of the power line. There must be police reports and fire dept reports. You are entitled to copies, get them. Get in touch with the power company, it may be that they are required to make good on any damage that their lines cause, or that they were negligent in not properly maintaining their lines. But if you have insurance that would cover this, my recommendation is that you get reimbursement from your insurance company and let them go after the power company.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/2/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    Probably the power company. Send a claim letter to them and see what happens.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/2/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    Report it to your insurance company, but from what you say, the power company might be liable.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/2/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    The power company is responsible. You should file a claim with the power company.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 9/2/2011
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